Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Queens Boulevard is a major thoroughfare in the New York City borough of Queens. It runs northwest to southeast across more than half the length of the borough, starting at the Queensboro Bridge in Long Island City and terminating at Jamaica Avenue in Jamaica. At 7.2 miles, it is the third-longest road in Queens after Northern Boulevard and Liberty Avenue/Farmers Boulevard , and it runs through some of Queens' busiest areas. Much of the road is 12 lanes wide, and at its intersection with Yellowstone Boulevard in Forest Hills, it reaches a high point of 16 lanes. Along much of its length, the road includes both six express lanes and a service road on each side. Drivers must first exit to the service road in order to make turns or pull over. It is also the Queens road most served by the New York subway, with six services -- the E, F, G, R, V and 7 -- each running along significant stretches. The Q60 bus route serves it for its entire length.
Queens Boulevard was built in the early 20th century to connect the new Queensboro Bridge to central Queens, thereby offering an easy outlet from Manhattan. It was originally called Hoffman Boulevard. It was widened along with the digging of subway tunnels in the 1920s and '30s, and some speculated the plan was to transform it into a highway, as was done with the Van Wyck Expressway. The city actually did propose converting it in 1941, but with the onset of World War II, the plan was never completed.
The combination of Queens Boulevard's immense width, heavy automobile traffic and thriving commercial scene made it the most dangerous thoroughfare in New York City and earned it citywide notoriety and morbid nicknames such as "The Boulevard of Death" and "The Boulevard of Broken Bones." From 1993 to 2000, 72 pedestrians were killed trying to cross the street, an average of 10.2 per year, with countless more injuries. Since 2001, at least partially in response to major news coverage of the danger, the city government has taken measures to cut down on such incidents, including posting large signs proclaiming that "A Pedestrian Was Killed Crossing Here" at intersections where fatal accidents have occurred and installing more road-rule enforcement cameras. Such efforts worked: during all of 2004, only one pedestrian was killed while trying to cross Queens Boulevard. 
Because of its name, density, accessibility and diverse, multicultural character, over the years, the road has come to be somewhat emblematic of Queens in general. In the first season of the HBO series Entourage, a major storyline involved the character Vincent Chase, a Queens native, trying to decide whether to star in a movie entitled "Queens Boulevard."
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